So tell me . . . how smart would it be to taunt and mock God to His face? No? Yeah, I don't think it is too smart either. In fact I would say that doing this is about as smart as playing chicken with a Mack truck while riding a tricycle. Therefore, I think it would be wise to heed what Proverbs 17 tells us today.
Mocking the poor is not a smart thing to do. God says some pretty interesting things about His care and His graciousness to the poor. He does not take it very well when we decide to mock someone He loves. In fact, what Solomon tells us is that it is like taunting God to His face to mock and make fun of the poor. What He wants us to do is to love the poor and try to lift them up with acts of kindness and mercy. Now, if you are looking to be smacked down for your foolishness - go ahead - mock the poor.
The second thing we are told is not to rejoice at the calamity of someone else. The Lord does not look to this too favorably either. God is the One who brings calamity into people's lives for His purposes. By the way, His purposes are gracious and loving - even though there has to be discipline administered to people. God does not rejoice in seeing people have a difficult time in life. He allows and plans these things for His ultimate purposes. He allows these things to happen because He loves us - and wants us to learn from them. But when we look at another's calamity and rejoice over it, it greatly displeases the Lord. Remember this for a moment next time you want to mock at another's calamity . . . One day calamity will come upon you as well. No one escapes problems and difficulties. So, we are far better served by observing calamity and remembering that difficulties will come to us as well. May God give us grace to pray for others - love them - and work side by side with them to get through difficult times.
The poor and those in distress will always be with us as long as this world is in its fallen state. May we use our interactions with them to learn greater character and godliness in our own lives. Then maybe the Lord will be gracious to us and send us someone to comfort us if troubles ever come to our own lives.